“My gifts to you sometimes come in the form of great trials and hardships. I know that it is hard for you to see My love in difficult circumstances, but from the heavenly perspective it is the greatest kind of love. Look at it this way. I know what you are about to face in this life. I know where your weaknesses are, and I also know where you are vulnerable to attack. If I didn’t strengthen you in those areas, what kind of love would that be? It would be no love at all, but very much like an uncaring friend.
"I am training you for My ministry of reconciliation. That is why you must submit to My training. Let Me assure you that I am hovering over you in the midst of each trial to make sure that it is not too much for you. It needs to be strong enough to change you, but it will not crush you. Rest assured that I am with you through it. I love you.”
Rev. 3:19 AMP
Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].
II Cor. 5:17-19 AMP
17) Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
18 But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].
19 It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up andholding against [men] their trespasses [but canceling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
If you haven’t been through any kind of trial or hardship before this, just keep walking with Jesus and you will experience them. It is part of God’s promise to us to train us for our ministry of restoring others to the Lord. Look at the lives of the prophets and apostles. Look at those who willingly gave up their lives for Jesus throughout the centuries. How do our trials compare to theirs? Then again, how does our love for God and other people compare to theirs?
I am convinced that our ability to love others and to love God is directly related to the amount of forgiveness we have received and the amount of pressure that we submit to at the hand of God. Placing ourselves directly in a situation of desperately needing the Father eventually trains us to have the kind of faith and caring that is needed to touch our world. (Is God responsible for all of the evil things that happen to us and in the world? Of course not. There is an enemy of our soul that is in the business of discouraging us, trying to separate us from the love of God, and attempting to kill us.)
Maybe we need to really understand something, however. God is not in the business of making our lives comfortable. To believe that is a lie. (That lie has done more harm than almost anything in the body of Christ because to believe it allows us to embrace a self-centered, self-absorbed gospel.)
God is in the business of making sure that others do not perish. His plan is to use us to bring that gospel to those who haven’t heard it. The problem is that you and I are not showing others what Jesus looks like, so He needs to change our character.
Few people will embrace the saving Gospel and come to Jesus because of our lives and our witness, if all we can offer them is empty words and fruitless lives. We need a Christ-like life for them to see who He is. That kind of life only comes through the pressure of trials and hardships. They are forming us to embrace those who hate us and those who need us.
Do what it takes to change me, Lord,